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So Why is Sales a Dirty Word?

So Why is Sales a Dirty Word?

For many people in healthcare, the term ‘sales’ carries some sort of a negative association. In fact, if you talk about ‘sales’ in the hospital setting it can be unsettling to many folks! After all, we are in healthcare not car sales.

On the other hand, successful physician liaisons recognize that they are sales people who should be “selling” their hospitals to the community physicians. In fact 70% of respondents in our Value and Compensation Survey see sales as their role even if it is not printed on their business card.

Kim GrantKim Grant
Regional Manager
HealthCare Strategies

The concept of sales always starts a lively dialogue! I recently screened a potential candidate for one of the liaison ‘sales’ positions for a client. She admitted that she has never thought of herself as a sales person. As the conversation was ending, I suggested that she was, in fact, displaying very strong consultative sales skills. She was selling herself to me through her tone of voice and the questions she asked during our conversation. She was selling herself to me through her answers and subject matter knowledge. I ended that call hoping she would consider the position because she had done such a good job of ‘selling’ herself to me – even though she did not think of herself as a sales person!

Consultative sales is truly all about uncovering a need and then fulfilling that need. Plain and simple. So what are the key tips to becoming that valued team member who we, at Tiller-Hewitt, consider to be a “consultative” sales person? Let’s make it plain and simple.

S – Size up the customer or client. In other words, do your research. Make a pre-call plan and know as much as you can about your customer before you step foot in the door.

A – Attitude. Attitude is EVERYTHING! Always have a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. People respond well to someone who is clearly happy and sincerely enthusiastic about his or her job!

L – Listen. You MUST listen more than you talk. That is the only way you will uncover a customer’s needs. Ask lots of questions, and then LISTEN intently for the answers.

E – Evaluate. Take all that you are learning about the client and then match that up with what value you can offer them. If you have done your work up front – the “sale” should be a natural result, because your solution meets their need.

S – Sell. Finally, ASK for the business. Once you have removed barriers, evaluated the situation and matched your solution or service to their needs, ask for the business. They cannot say YES unless you ask them first.

Make no mistake about it, when we approach a potential hospital or healthcare system client, we listen first. So when we ask them to engage our Physician-Hospital Relations program, they’ll see it’s relevance to their needs and how it will be designed to move market share – in their market. It’s what we have always done: increasing market share for our clients through our PHR program.

If you are ready to take your consultative sales skills to the next level, check out our training workshop.